Cornish Object of the Year 2019 Vlog 5 – ‘The Gurney Stove’

In the run up to the Cornwall Heritage Awards, I have been visiting each of the museums with shortlisted objects nominated for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019, to hear from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects.

In this vlog I speak to Janine King, Heritage Development Officer at The Castle, Bude, to hear about their shortlisted object the Gurney Stove.

The Gurney Stove, a predecessor to the modern radiator, was patented by Cornish inventor Sir Goldsworthy Gurney in 1856 and heated many public buildings including the Houses of Parliament and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The stove is an object belonging to Britain’s industrial age, yet aspects of the design can still be seen in radiators today, particularly the fins for radiating heat. Viewing all of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney’s different inventions made me think, once again, how the Cornish inventors of the industrial age, such as Sir Humphry Davy and Richard Trevithick had a great impact on Britain.

To vote for your favourite Cornish object click here.
Voting closes at midnight on Tuesday 12 February 2019.

– Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern

Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 Vlog 4 – ‘The Bethlehem Pasty’

In the run up to the Cornwall Heritage Awards, I have been visiting each of the museums with shortlisted objects nominated for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019, to hear from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects.

In this vlog I speak to Rosie Kliskey, Assistant Curator at Museum of Cornish Life in Helston to hear the story behind their shortlisted object the ‘Bethlehem Pasty.’

I hadn’t visited the Museum of Cornish Life before filming the vlog. The museum specialises in the social history of Cornwall and I was surprised at the variety of objects in their collection, from typewriters to mobile phones, and military uniforms to the gigantic, centuries old, cider press. The ‘Bethlehem Pasty’ – which is carved from stone – is a particularly fascinating example of Cornwall’s social history as it enlightens us to the life of William Jewell, a butcher from Cornwall, who served with the Desert Rats in Africa and the Middle East during the Second World War.

To vote for your favourite Cornish object click here.
Voting closes Midnight Tues 12 February 2019.

– Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern

Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 Vlog 2 – ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ Hood Ornament and Mould

In the run up to the Cornwall Heritage Awards, 21 March, I have been visiting each of the shortlisted objects nominated for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 to hear from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects.

In this vlog I speak to Si Durrant, Trainee Curator at Wheal Martyn Clay Works, to hear about their object the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ Hood Ornament and Mould.

I have always been fascinated by the industrial heritage of Cornwall and the many different links that Cornwall has to industry all around the world. The story of this Rolls Royce icon and its accompanying Molochite mould is another great example, with Cornish clay (forming the Molochite mould) being influential in the present day aviation industry.

The Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 is open to public vote, vote for your favourite object here.

Voting closes Midnight 12 Feb.
The winner will be announced at the Cornwall Heritage Awards, 21 March 2019.

The next vlog will feature Penlee House Gallery.

– Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern

 

 

 

Pool School Gallery celebrates National Lottery Funding

Photograph from left to right shows Pool Academy students, Leah Matthews, Harry Kessell and Leia Knight

Pool School Gallery, a community interest company, has been awarded £45,400 by the National Lottery to work with the Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection. This important and culturally significant collection was created with the intention that children in Cornwall should have access to great art. Artists represented include Jacob Epstein, Barbara Hepworth, Alfred Wallis and Terry Frost.

During 2018 Pool Academy students worked with artists to transform the school’s old caretakers’ bungalow into a new art gallery. Thanks to National Lottery players, the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will support an exciting project using the Cornwall Council Schools Art CollectionStudents will research its history and create exhibitions and learning materials based around it. The project examines not what art means, but what art means to us. Students will be responsible for telling its story and they will help to shape and secure its future. The project is supported by Pool Academy, The Royal Cornwall Museum, Cornwall Museums Partnership and Cornwall Council.

Claire Meakin, Pool Academy’s Principal, says: ‘I am really proud that our students are working with this culturally significant collection.’

The Chair of Governors at Pool Academy, Clive Bramley, says: ‘We are very grateful to the National Lottery for awarding us the grant.’

 Ian Wall, Director of the Royal Cornwall Museum, says: This initiative, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is a great example of partnerships coming together to nurture the creative talent of young people’.

 Emmie Kell, CEO of Cornwall Museums Partnership says: ‘We are delighted to support this project as it completely aligns with our values of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity. We look forward to seeing students realise their creative potential through the range of projects the gallery will enable them to be involved in.’

 Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: ‘Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this project will put Pool Academy students at the heart of telling the history of Cornwall’s Schools Art Collection and the cultural heritage it has built for them to explore and enjoy!’

 Cllr Bob Egerton, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economy at Cornwall Council says: ‘Cornwall Council is thrilled to see this innovative project getting underway. The purpose of the Council’s Schools Art Collection has always been to bring great quality art into the heart of our schools and this project achieves exactly that. It will give students the time to study the artworks more intensively and to be inspired to make their own creative and critical responses. The students will also develop a series of exhibitions and activities that will enable the local community and other schools to appreciate the works. We very much look forward to seeing the new approaches to working with the Collection that the students will develop.’

EB Year 7 says: I think it’s important to work with the Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection because it’s a great experience to go to the gallery, enjoy making things for it, and being able to come back and look at the work you’ve created and what you’ve achieved. I think that they (artists) are inspiring children to achieve what they want to achieve. Let’s say an artist showed some children his or her work, then the children might want to create something like that.

Spotlight on: Si Durrant, Trainee Curator at Wheal Martyn Clay Works

We catch up with Si Durrant at Wheal Martyn, one of the Trainee Curators supported by Cornwall Museums Partnership’s NPO programme, to talk about his showcase ‘Clay Stories: unearthing stories from our villages and towns’.

“I am now halfway through my placement as Wheal Martyn’s Trainee Curator. My role at Wheal Martyn primarily involves assisting Jo (Curator) and Nikita (Exhibition and Engagement Officer) with unlocking stories from the collection and archives held at Wheal Martyn. As a Trainee Curator, I have been gaining valuable on-the-job experience and attending training sessions at partner museums across Cornwall. I have already seen great variety in the role of a museum Curator. This has included an introduction to museum accreditation, health and safety training, record keeping, working with schools, collections handling, collections hazards, digitising negatives and, more recently, combining these new skills to curate my first ever showcase exhibition.”

“‘Clay Stories: unearthing stories from our villages and towns’, features a selection of curios from the St. Austell china clay area, with each display telling a unique community story from the last 200 years. Village shops, sports, housing, clothing, forgotten trades, industry, and the impact of two World Wars are represented in the extensive collection.”

“The theme of the showcase is stories from our villages and towns. The majority of our collection focuses on the industrial heritage of the china clay industry; however, buried within these c.10,000 items are certain objects that hold hidden stories about a specific area of the local community. For example, our Rolls Royce figurine and mould represents the relationship between the village of St. Dennis and the Aerospace Industry. In fact, this item has just been nominated for an award – Cornish Object of the Year 2019.”

“My research for the showcase began with a map of the St. Austell china clay district – an area which is bounded by St. Austell Bay in the south and the A390 to the north. This map revealed over 50 villages and hamlets that were in close proximity to clay workings. Once I had a list of villages, I was able to search our onsite database for relevant objects, documents, photographs and film. Over the course of several weeks I was able to shortlist these items and then research the stories behind them. Finally, these stories were condensed into a display in the museum atrium and weekly social media posts.”

“I have really enjoyed the huge variety this internship has offered me and greatly look forward to the next three months.”

Colin Vallance, Director of Wheal Martyn says, “It’s been fantastic to have Si as part of the team, uncovering some of the many stories that are hidden within our museum collection and sharing these with our local communities and visitors. Si’s internship is part funded by the European Social Fund, Arts Council England and Cornwall Council, as part of a Cornwall Museums Partnership NPO programme and we are very grateful for their support.”

‘Clay Stories: unearthing stories from our villages and towns’ is free to enter and runs until the end of February 2019. The showcase coincides with Wheal Martyn’s Cornwall Residents’ Pass Offer; for 12 months, admission passes are available at a reduced price of just £6.50 for an adult ticket.

Wheal Martyn would like to encourage visitors during January and February to discover some of these fascinating stories linked to local villages and towns. If you are inspired to share stories from your own village, pop into the museum, email info@wheal-martyn.com or share them on Facebook (@whealmartyncw).

For more information about the Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 and to vote click here.

Weekly Tech Review – Week 6 Sketchfab – viewing 3D scans

Sketchfab

Overview:

Following on from last week’s review of publishing 3D models on Sketchfab, we are reviewing the user-experience of Sketchfab. Sketchfab is a platform where you can publish, share and discover 3D content. There are over 1.5 million scenes with a community of over 1 million creators you can follow, making Sketchfab the largest platform for immersive and interactive 3D content. As with most of our reviews, this is a free platform, where there is no cost to upload or access content.

What you need:

  • An internet connection
  • A computer or smartphone
  • The Sketchfab website or app (available for iOS and Android)

 Instructions:

The Sketchfab website is incredibly easy to use and navigate. For the purposes of this review, we visited the profile of the British Museum, who have made a concerted effort to publish 3D models online, and have uploaded 220 to date. Following on from this we explored the models that were tagged as ‘Cornwall’ and then filtered for ‘Cultural Heritage and Museums’. We particularly enjoyed the 3D models created by Tom Goskar.

Pros:

  • Detailed information has been provided next to the models. We selected the Queen piece from the Lewis Chess set – this showed information relating to the date of production, height, material, as well as meta-data about the person who took the 3D scan and what equipment was used.

  • There is the facility for multiple annotations when a model contains more than one object.

  • You can download the model for free, though if you wished to charge, there is the facility. This is dependent upon copyright restrictions – so if you don’t want people to download something, you don’t have to offer it.
  • You can add this model to your own collection, embed it on a website, like it, and share it on social media.
  • You can see how many people have viewed and liked the model, allowing museums to gauge the popularity of objects.
  • There is the facility to set different licenses for the download, for instance, the Queen is Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. The Creative Commons system of licensing is very straightforward, and you can easily work it out here.
  • People can comment on each model, allowing for extra information, feedback, and discussion amongst users.
  • You can tag each model with generic terms, making it easy for people to find your model while browsing.
  • Link to the museum’s website

Cons:

  • We were keen to try out the VR facility on the Sketchfab app with our trusty Google Cardboards, however, we noticed that all of the museum/heritage models that we looked at were not optimised for VR. This is not a criticism of Sketchfab per se, but more of a missed opportunity on behalf of museums. We did find some ‘VR ready’ models and found the experience to be absolutely brilliant, with the ability to move around the object (something that we noticed was noticeably lacking in Google Arts and Culture and Google Expeditions.
  • Viewing objects in VR version works perfectly for iOS devices. However, using an Android device takes a long time for the object to load in VR and, additionally, the user must install the Google VR Services app beforehand, in order to be able to view objects on Google cardboard (or any VR device).

General feedback:

We love Sketchfab! It presents a brilliant opportunity to freely share and disseminate 3D digital content and become a member of this burgeoning online community. We particularly like the idea of being able to comment on models and feel that this would be a useful tool in the co-curation of museum objects, enhancing digital engagement and participation.

We noticed that most of the models that have been tagged as ‘Cornwall’ are archaeological or architectural, so there is a need for museum object to comprehensively display Cornish heritage.

Score:

  • Price – 5/5
  • Ease of use- 5/5
  • Education – 5/5
  • Fun – 4.5/5

Overall score: 19.5

Jenny Lee and Yiota Liopetriti

Why Culture Matters to Cornwall: a joint statement on the value of culture in Cornwall from Cornwall Museums Partnership and the Wolfson Foundation

As Truro’s bid for EU Capital of Culture fuels debate around the value of culture to Cornwall and its economy, two organisations have come together to explain why investing further in culture is intrinsically important for Cornwall’s prosperity and wellbeing:

 

“Culture and the creative industries are highly significant to Cornwall. Our unrivalled cultural assets include over 200 festivals, over 70 museums, world class theatre, and leading contemporary art galleries.

 

Not only are culture and the creative industries central to Cornwall’s identity, they are also of great economic importance as a growing employment sector, generating some £2.73bn for the Cornish economy. The value of cultural tourism to Cornwall has been estimated at more than £180m.

 

Cornwall is recognised across the UK and internationally as a rural region with creativity at its heart. The power of culture helps us stand out internationally, it strengthens the Cornish brand and represents Cornwall and the UK throughout the world.

 

Our museums’ collections are integral to understanding Cornwall’s distinctive cultural heritage. The opportunities they provide for creative activities not only invoke a strong sense of place, but also promote shared experiences, strengthen the cultural bonds between people and improve our quality of life every day. Research has shown that 4 of the top 6 activities most conducive to human happiness and wellbeing are arts related (LSE, 2015) and 77% of adults take part in the arts at least once a year. (DCMS, December 2014)

 

It is the combination of the vibrant cultural offer and outstanding natural environment that gives Cornwall a unique creative edge and an international profile. Data from the Office for National Statistics recently revealed Cornwall as the place in England where people feel most content and satisfied with their lives; our cultural richness and strong sense of place contribute to this important wellbeing indicator.”

 

Recognising the significance and wealth of culture within Cornwall, the Wolfson Foundation has invested almost £1m in Cornish cultural and heritage projects since 2011. Chief Executive Paul Ramsbottom commented: “The Wolfson Foundation is a national charity perhaps best known for funding in the fields of science and health, and indeed our recent funding in Cornwall includes major support for the county’s palliative care. But we also recognise the vital importance of culture and so are delighted to have recently awarded funding of nearly £1 million across a range of museums and cultural centres in Cornwall: from Cotehele to Porthcurno, from Eden to Newyln Art Gallery and from Tate St Ives to the Royal Museum Cornwall. Heritage and culture have intrinsic importance, but are also crucially important to the economy of Cornwall – and to Cornish society’s identity and cohesion.”

 

CEO of Cornwall Museums Partnership, Emmie Kell, added: “Investment in culture brings significant social and economic benefits to Cornwall. Our distinctive heritage is one of our most under used assets which we believe has huge potential to support the increased prosperity and wellbeing of everyone in Cornwall. We are hugely grateful to the Wolfson Foundation for their continued investment in Cornwall’s museums and we urge local policy and decision makers to recognise the role of culture in creating a bright future for Cornwall.”